Building up to The Blues

Sunday 22 September 2002

Forward Louis Saha remains sidelined with a hamstring injury, which means Barry Hayles is likely to start in attack. Fulham are also hopeful Steve Finnan and Luis Boa Morte will be fit after their knee problems.

Fulham (from): Van der Sar, Finnan, Ouaddou, Brevett, Melville, Goma, Collins, Davis, Inamoto, Malbranque, Legwinski, Marlet, Sava, Taylor, Boa Morte, Hayles.

Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot is set to return after recovering from injury.

MOST SIGNIFICANT STATS

Two Thursday night European winners meet at Loftus Road for a mouth watering Monday night west London derby.

A Steed Malbranque strike early in the second half marked Fulham's first major European match. They enjoyed a magnificent Uefa Cup first-round victory over Hadjuk Split in Croatia.

Meanwhile Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink rediscovered his scoring touch and Enrique de Lucas popped up with a goal for Chelsea, who'll take a 2-1 lead to Norway for the second leg of their Uefa Cup tie.

Jean Tigana have turned Fulham's temporary home at Loftus Road into a fortress. Seven goals have been scored in impressive victories over Bolton and Spurs. In the latter game they came behind to steal it deep into stoppage time.

Since then the Cottagers have travelled to the Stadium of Light and notched a magnificent victory by virtue of three great finishes from Inamonto, Hayles and Marlet, without reply.

Chelsea can match that. Three goals were netted in each of their last two Premiership matches, a 3-2 win at Blackburn followed by a 3-0 overhaul of Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.

This is Chelsea's 100th match under Claudio Ranieri, in the week he celebrates two years in charge at Stamford Bridge.

The Cottagers are looking for a first home League victory over Chelsea in a quarter of a century.

If Chelsea claim all three points from only the second such away west London Premiership derby, then they will have 15 points from seven starts. It would be a tally achieved just once before in the Premiership, in the 1999/2000 season when they finished fifth.

A double strike from Fulham in their 44th match, would take their all-time Premier League goals total to exactly 50.

Chelsea beat their west London rivals twice last season - 3-2 in the League match at Stamford Bridge and 0-1 in the FA Cup.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

Total meetings Total 54 Fulham wins 8 Chelsea wins 30 Draws 16



HEAD TO HEAD NOTES

The dismissal of Chelsea's Slavisa Jokanovic in the 1-1 draw at Fulham last season, was the first red card ever to be issued in this corresponding fixture.

The clubs also met in the semi-finals of FA Cup last season. John Terry scored five minutes before the break from a Chelsea corner. It was enough for the Blues to book their third berth in the final in six years.

This is the 47th League meeting between these clubs, and Fulham are looking for only their 7th win.

Fulham haven't beaten Chelsea at home for 25 years, but in that time they've only been four meetings.

Chelsea's last top flight victory at Fulham was 1-3 on 26 August, 1966.

FULHAM

League position going into the weekend - 6th 10 points

Sequences

GUARDING A 100% HOME LEAGUE RECORD

WON LAST 5 AT HOME - 2 Prem, 2 IC

WON BOTH HOME PREMIERSHIP MATCHES

GONE 4 HOME LEAGUE GAMES WITHOUT DEFEAT

Recent Form

8 wins in last 14 League and Cup games

Won 5 of last 9 Premiership matches

Drawn 5 of last 14 in all competitions

2 draws in last 9 top flight encounters

Lost 1 of last 14 confrontations

2 defeats in last 10 top division duels

Failed to score in 1 of last 12 contests

Failed to find the net in 3 of the last 7 League clashes

6 clean sheets in last 13

Managed 4 clean sheets in last 9 top tier League outings

EVER PRESENTS: Sean Davis, Alain Goma

Started every game: Sean Davis, Alain Goma

Potential Career Milestones

If he plays, Barry HAYLES will be making his 200th League appearance.

If involved, Andy MELVILLE will be making his 150th appearance for Fulham

ADDITIONAL COTTAGERS NOTES

(In advance of this weekend's latest set of matches)

Scored more goals in the first last five minutes of Premiership matches that any other club - 3.

Been awarded and converted three penalties in Premiership matches this season. No other club has scored more.

CHELSEA

League position going into the weekend 4th 12 points

Sequences

WON LAST 3 - 2 Prem, 1 Uefa Cup

UNBEATEN THIS SEASON - 6 Prem, 1 Uefa Cup [4 wins, 3 draws]

GONE 8 PREMIERSHIP GAMES SINCE FAILING TO SCORE

SCORED 3 IN EACH OF LAST 2

Recent Form

4 wins in last 7 League and Cup games

Won 3 of last 7 Premiership matches

Drawn 3 of last 7 in all competitions

3 draws in last 9 top flight encounters

Lost 0 of last 7 confrontations

1 defeat in last 8 top division duels

Failed to score in 0 of last 6 contests

Failed to find the net in 2 of last 11 League clashes

1 clean sheet in last 6

Managed 2 clean sheets in last 9 top tier League outings

EVER PRESENTS:

Marcel Desailly
Frank Lampard
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
William Gallas
Enrique De Lucas
Eidur Gudjohnsen
Carlo Cudicini
Gianfranco Zola
Jesper Gronkjaer

Started every game:

Marcel Desailly
William Gallas
Carlo Cudicini
Gianfranco Zola

Potential Career Milestones

Jimmy Floyd HASSELBAINK is a brace away from scoring 100 goals in English domestic football.

Frank LAMPARD needs a double strike to record 50 career club goals.

If named in the eleven, Graeme LE SAUX will be making the 400th start of his club career.

ADDITIONAL BLUES NOTES (In advance of this weekend's latest set of matches)

Last League match in which failed to score was the 0-3 home defeat by Manchester United on 20 April.

One of three clubs with an unbeaten Premiership record. The others are Arsenal and Liverpool.

Scored most away Premier League goals - 7 in 3.

One of three clubs to have drawn most Premiership matches - 3. The others are Blackburn and Liverpool.

One of five clubs to have scored in every top flight match this season. The others are Arsenal, Bolton, Liverpool and Spurs.

Come from behind on most occasions in top flight matches this season - 5.

Been caught off side eight times in Premiership matches this season. Only Leeds have been caught offside so few times.

Caught the opposition in the offside trap on 32 times in Premiership matches this season. That's more occasions than any other club.

Players been shown 17 yellow cards in Premiership matches this season. That's more than any other club.

REFEREE REPORT - MAN IN THE MIDDLE
PAUL DURKIN (Portland, Dorset)

OTHERS OFFICIALS
Assistant Andy Woolmer
Assistant Phil Sharp
Fourth Official Steve Bennett
Delegate R Wiseman